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Commissioner Menin, Chancellor Carranza Highlight Google Expeditions Pioneer Program Reaching 99 NYC Schools

– Media and Entertainment Commissioner Julie Menin and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza today announced in partnership with Google that, this school year, 99 New York City schools have been using augmented reality for learning with the Google Expeditions app, an immersive learning tool.

"New York City is the media capital of the world, and an incubator of cutting edge AR and VR technology, and we want our schoolchildren to benefit from these technological breakthroughs," said Media and Entertainment Commissioner Julie Menin. "We're thrilled to partner with the DOE and Google to bring this exciting learning tool into our schools."

"When we bring technology into our schools in a strategic and thoughtful way, we are enriching our classrooms and opening doors for our students," said Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza. "I thank Commissioner Menin, Google, and our New York City educators for their partnership, and I look forward to visiting schools that are using technology to get students excited about history, science, and math."

"Expeditions is a powerful learning tool. It provides a unique opportunity for supplemental learning by giving students new ways of exploring the concepts and places they are studying. We've been thrilled to see teachers use Expeditions to bring abstract concepts to life and provide students with a deeper understanding of the world beyond the classroom, infusing learning with excitement and fun," said Jennifer Holland, Program Manager, Google for Education at Google.

Individual schools and teachers registered to participate in the Pioneer Program to experience Google Expeditions and the new augmented reality tours, an unreleased feature of the app, through which students can experience 3D objects and lessons in a number of content areas and subjects, including:

  • Human Muscular System
  • The World of Ancient Rome
  • African Animals 
  • Trench Warfare in World War I
  • Using Simple Machines
  • The Periodic Table
  • A Look at Earthquakes 
  • Da Vinci's Inventions

New York City students are in the first group of students to use Expeditions AR, which is being brought to schools through the Pioneer Program nationwide through the end of this school year. The Expeditions AR Pioneer Program is available free of charge and Google provides mobile devices, teacher training, and support staff on the day of the visit. New York City public school teachers lead the lessons and integrate the technology into their broader lesson plans and curricula. The DOE has partnered with Google to train staff across community school districts, Field Support Centers, and central staff.

Google, in partnership with the DOE, provides monthly certification trainings at Google's NYC headquarters. Educators are also encouraged to attend evening Google Educator Group Meetups held the third Thursday of every month at Google's NYC offices. These Meetups provide a space for educators to collaborate with other educators on best practices in the classroom.

The growing AR/VR sector has wide-ranging applications, from entertainment to medicine to education, and is part of the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME)'s portfolio. Last Summer, the New York City Economic Development Corporation and MOME announced a $6 million investment in an AR/VR hub that will be located in Brooklyn's Tech triangle and operated by NYU Tandon. After learning that Google planned to bring Expeditions AR to schoolchildren across the country, MOME approached Google about beginning their roll-out of the technology right here in NYC with demonstrations in public schools throughout the City. MOME then arranged a meeting between Google and the DOE to demonstrate how the technology could be incorporated into existing lesson plans.

The partnership builds on existing technology initiatives including free wireless devices for over 30,000 students high schools in New York City's Community Schools initiative and Computer Science for All, a key public-private partnership in Mayor de Blasio's Equity and Excellence for All agenda that will bring computer science education to every elementary, middle, and high school by 2025.

"Teachers love technology and tools that captivate their students and enrich their classroom discussions," said UFT President Michael Mulgrew. "I want to thank Commissioner Menin for her vision and for her ability to bring valuable partners like Google into our schools."

"Incorporating innovative technology in the classroom helps prepare our students for the future, and it's important that our curriculum provides our students with as many opportunities as possible," said Council Member Mark Treyger, Chair of the Education Committee. "I commend Chancellor Carranza, Commissioner Menin, Google, and our educators for working together make this possible."

More information about Google Expeditions is available online.